Ted Cruz's tweet slamming Joe Biden's Paris Agreement plan debunked: Fact check of Senator's full statement

It isn't just Cruz's inferred claim that the Agreement does more for the people of Paris than for Americans that is wrong, but his entire statement is filled with factual errors and debunked claims

Ted Cruz's tweet slamming Joe Biden's Paris Agreement plan debunked: Fact check of Senator's full statement
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee business meeting on October 15, 2020, in Washington, DC (Getty Images)
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As Joe Biden took the oath to become the 46th President of the United States, he spent his first day in office signing a slew of executive orders reversing Donald Trump's policies. One of those executive orders saw Biden declare that the United States would reenter the Paris Agreement -- a global accord of nations joining together to combat climate change. Senator Ted Cruz could not pass up the moment to slam Biden, saying in his statement that the Paris Agreement will harm the livelihoods of Americans, but more hilariously, inferring that it only applied to French people.

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Cruz tweeted on the first day of Biden's presidency with a link to his full statement, writing, "By rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, President Biden indicates he’s more interested in the views of the citizens of Paris than in the jobs of the citizens of Pittsburgh. This agreement will do little to affect the climate and will harm the livelihoods of Americans."

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Cruz's tweet was immediately slammed for saying that Biden cared for Parisians more than Pennsylvanians. One user wrote, "To show how stupid this tweet is, let's apply its logic to 1945: 'By signing the Potsdam Agreement, President Truman indicates he's more interested in the views of the citizens of Potsdam than in the citizens of Pittsburgh.' Cruz isn't stupid, but he thinks his supporters are." 

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Another tweeted, "Senator @tedcruz is so stupid he thinks the Paris Climate Agreement is about Paris and that Pittsburgh is still the Pittsburgh of the 1940s that belches smoke from its now-gone steel mills. It's scary that people this stupid are allowed to incite violence against our Capitol."


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It isn't just Cruz's inferred claim that the Agreement does more for the people of Paris than for Americans that is wrong. His entire statement is filled with factual errors and debunked claims. Here is a complete fact-check of Ted Cruz's statement on Biden making the country rejoin the Paris Agreement.

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"By signing this order, President Biden indicates that he's more interested in the views of the citizens of Paris than in the jobs of the citizens of Pittsburgh."

The Paris Agreement is called so because it was signed in Paris, France during the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 in 2015. The agreement was signed by over 190 countries and aims to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. The Paris Agreement is intended to be a joint effort by all signatories, as they work together to economically and socially transform society. 

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This brings us to Cruz's next point.

U.S. President Joe Biden prepares to sign a series of executive orders at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office just hours after his inauguration on January 20, 2021, in Washington, DC (Getty Images).

"America's ‘commitment' to the Paris Climate Agreement will be used by the Biden administration as justification for a whole litany of new executive actions and burdensome federal regulations to shape our energy and environmental policy - which will burden American families, manufacturers, and businesses with higher energy costs at a time when they are already struggling."

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Last year, before Biden won the presidency, he worked with his one-time opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders to craft a blueprint to tackle the issue of climate change. While the blueprint includes an ambitious and a massive plan to prepare the country to combat climate change, it also crucially states "We will invest in the education and training of underrepresented groups, including people of color, low-income Americans, women, veterans, people with disabilities, and unemployed energy workers for jobs in clean energy-related industries," not just ensuring that energy workers will not be ignored in the societal change, but also making inclusive by referring to sections of society that are not employed as such in the energy sector.

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"Without the Paris Climate Agreement, the United States has led the world in emissions reductions."

Cruz is unsurprisingly not the first to make this claim, which was previously said by Rick Perry who claimed that the United States led the world in reducing emissions. According to Climate Feedback, the claim "fails to acknowledge that many other countries are reducing emissions faster than the US, starting from a per capita emission level that is already well below the United States' and have policies in place to further cut emissions."

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Cruz's claim comes from a report that the US had the largest year-on-year reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of any country in absolute terms. However, as Snopes.com states, "The US reduced its CO2 emissions by just 2.9%, while other countries and regions fared better. Germany, for example, achieved a year-on-year reduction of 8% in its CO2 emissions."

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Actress Jane Fonda participates in a protest in front of the U.S. Capitol during a “Fire Drill Fridays” climate change protest and rally on Capitol Hill, October 18, 2019, in Washington, DC (Getty Images).

"Rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement will do little to affect the climate, and will harm the livelihoods of everyday Americans all across the country."

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The Paris Agreement is the first truly global agreement by multiple countries to fight the crisis of global warming. Rising temperatures are already adversely affecting the earth, with more hurricanes forming in the Gulf of Mexico in recent years and adverse effects on biodiversity. Sticking to the Paris Agreement will not only ensure that the earth is taken care of for future generations but also ensure a more sustainable, inclusive way of life.

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Also, contrary to Cruz's claim that "livelihoods of everyday Americans" will be harmed, it is believed that climate action could produce $26 trillion globally in economic benefits according to the Global Commission on Economy and Climate, and create 24 million jobs according to the International Labor Organization. More US workers work in solar energy than in coal, and one study showed that the solar industry alone (not including other forms of clean energy such as biofuels, wind, and energy efficiency) could absorb all workers released by coal as the industry gradually and inevitably shrinks.

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Moreover, continuing to ignore climate change will only end up costing more taxpayer dollars and according to the UN Office of Disaster Risk Reduction, economic losses from climate-related disasters cost the world nearly $2.3 trillion over the past two decades.

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